Quarryhill Botanical Garden

Advancing the Conservation, Study, and Cultivation of the Flora of Asia

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Featured Plants

Rosa odorata var. gigantea

In combination with Rosa chinensis var. spontanea, also widely featured at Quarryhill, this stunning showpiece represents the ancient parentage of most modern day nursery roses so commonly found throughout the world, including Teas, Hybrid Teas, Polyanthas, Floribundas and Portlands, among many others.  As typical of the genus, it prefers regular water and full sun, and requires plenty of space or an ample structure on which to ascend.

Collected as open-pollinated seed in 2001 at the garden of Viru Viraraghavan, from a wild-origin parent collected as seed by Viru and Girija Viraraghavan in January, 1990 at 2,130 meters elevation from a climber, 10 meters tall, growing among tall deciduous trees under full sun, in an open scrub jungle on Mt. Sirohi, Manipur State, NE India.

This scrambler/climber has pinnately compound leaves, 5-10 cm in length, each with 5-9 leaflets, 2-7 cm long.  Its pure white flowers are solitary and simple, and, as implied by its name, very fragrant and unusually large in size, reaching a width of 10 cm.  It is evergreen to semi-evergreen, depending on climate, and is native to mixed forests, thickets and scrub on hillsides, pastures, grassy slopes and roadsides, at 1400-2700 meters elevation in the Yunnan province of China, Myanmar, N. Thailand and N. Vietnam.